Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blogroll Dividends Form 1045B-C4965.77-e

Ugh. The Beast has been doing our taxes the last week and the week before that we picked up a lot of shifts at our real job. Sorry for the silence, so here's an extra helping of blogtrollin' chestnuts:



(New York Times)

(Dangerous Minds)
(The Revivalist)
(Speaker Creatures)
(Point of Departure)
(33 1/3)
(Pitchfork Media)
(L.A. Weekly)
(Pacific Standard)
(A Blog Supreme)
(Wax Poetics)

(Consequence of Sound)
(West Coast Sound)
(Dangerous Minds)
(On An Overgrown Path)
(Dangerous Minds)
(Sound of the City)
(The Quietus)
(Burning Ambulance)
(L.A. Record)
(The Creators Project)
(The Wire)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Santa Barbara New Music Series Goes Dark

From Colter Frazier:

Colter Frazier (L) and Rob Wallace

Hello Everyone!

Please join us this Thursday at 8:00 pm at Muddy Waters Café (508 E. Haley St., Santa Barbara) for the final show of the Santa Barbara New Music Series!

The Santa Barbara New Music Series was started in the fall of 2006 by like-minded improvising musicians who recognized the lack of performance space for non-mainstream, creative music in Santa Barbara. It is a monthly event featuring many creative musicians from across the US and has become known in Santa Barbara as a music event for music's sake, a place where creative music is supported and encouraged, and a place where the listener can always hear fresh, new music.

It has been a wonderful 6 1/2 years of shows and I would like to thank everyone involved from musicians to audience members to especially Bill [Lewis] at Muddy Waters for providing the series a home for the last four or five years. Please come and join us for the final show!  It will feature an opening set by local pop music improvisors Free Pop, followed by a Dottie Grossman tribute set performed by some of Los Angeles' best improvising musicians. In place of the regular series I do plan to put on a show or two a year in the future, and will keep you all posted as the occasional show materializes. One to absolutely mark your calendars for is the Billy Mintz Quartet on October 10th at 8:00 pm at the Piano Kitchen (430 Rose Ave. in Santa Barbara).  If you would prefer to not receive emails about future shows, please just let me know.

Thank you again to everyone and we hope to see you at the show this Thursday!

Bill Lewis, owner of Muddy Waters Cafe

Check out a 2008 article about the SB New Music Series here. Check out a radio interview with Frazier and Larry Ochs here.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

101 Music Scribes You Should Read...

...if you haven't already, that is. (Feel free to suggest anyone you don't see on this list. We're always on the watch for new awesomeness & scribes who aren't getting enough L-U-V.)


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Under The Bottle Tree

Wadada Leo Smith & Oguri
[photos courtesy of Moses Hacmon]
A Japanese butoh master and a free-jazz trumpeter seem like an incongruous fit, but the dark and turgid "freedom music" of trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and Oguri's strenuous dances of confusion and deliverance both tackle fundamental human emotions in unapologetically abstract terms. Their latest collaboration NOTAWAY: Quest For Freedom, a loose reimagining of the river journey taken by Mark Twain's Huck Finn and escaped slave Jim -- part of a three-night stand at Venice's groovy-crunchy Electric Lodge last weekend -- brought this to an almost exhausting level.

Save for a slow prelude where they crouched in the dark like snipers in the weeds, the dancers – who included Oguri and fellow Body Weather artist Yasunari Tamai -- were in almost constant exertion underneath a large facsimile of a Southern "bottle tree" for the two-hour performance. Butoh is an intense and often confrontational dance style that emerged from a Japan devastated by WWII. It is as grueling to perform as it is to watch: A series of slo-mo friezes, angular stretches and mannequin-like poses. (Call it "extreme voguing.") By the end, both men's white tunics were darkened with sweat; the two of them alone must have driven the heat index in the space up to steam-bath levels.

Smith, dressed in a rumpled cream-colored suit, brought his Golden Quartet -- pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg, drummer Pheeroan akLaff -- for an equally strenuous four-part suite that accompanied the dancers. There wasn't rhythm or pulse to latch onto. Smith kept the drums and bass under tight wraps to provide a tinge of unrelieved tension save for Lindberg skittering his bow up his strings, creating the sound of tiny electrical surges. The only source of melody came in starts and stops from Smith and Davis -- mirroring Huck and Jim's journey between servitude and freedom – which was anchored by Smith's distress-siren, a piercing sound in the small theater. A couple of Zen moments saw the band stopping entirely while the only sounds were the clicking floorboards under the dancers' feet.

Perhaps juiced by the physicality on display, Smith, who usually wanders on the edges of his own bands, directed his quartet with great sweeps and chops of his hand, occasionally yelling out "Hyahhhh!" and even wandering over to sit on Davis' piano bench while both men interplayed. At the end, Oguri and Tamai wandered back into the dark, arm in arm, as the last touch of the cymbal seemed to linger for a Buddhist moment. Meaning, forever. 

Speaking of Buddhism, percussionist Alex Cline's restaging of Roscoe Mitchell's classic AACM composition "People In Sorrow" at the 2011 Angel City Jazz Festival is now up on YouTube in its entirety. Definitely worth watching, especially for the chant towards the end from Buddhist monk  Sister Dang Nghiem. Check out our 2-part, pre-concert interview with Mr. Cline here. No bottle trees were involved.

Friday, March 1, 2013

March or Die

March 1-3: Wadada Leo Smith @ The Electric Lodge....The Section Quartet @ The Broad Stage....Barry Zweig Trio @ Del Monte Speakeasy....March 2: Lou Harrison: A World of Music @ REDCAT....Rudresh Mahanthappa @ UCLA Royce Hall....Azar Lawrence Quartet @ The RG Club (monthlong residency)....Los Angeles Jazz Quartet @ The Blue Whale....Patricia Barber Quartet @ The Jazz Bakery....March 3: Hafez Modirzadeh Quartet feat. Bobby Bradford & Philip Greenlief-Nick Tamburro Duo @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts....Onaje Murray @ Hal's Bar & Grill....March 5: Jacques Lesure & James Leary @ Barbara Morrison PAC....March 6: Vardan Ovsepian Chamber Ensemble @ The Blue Whale....March 7: Ron Meza Quartet (w/ John Beasley, Henry Franklin & Ramon Banda)....Julian Coryell @ The RG Club (monthlong residency)....March 8: String Theory w/ Gingger Shankar @ The Electric Lodge....Carl Saunders Quartet @ Vibrato....Billy Childs All-Star Birthday Jam @ The Baked Potato....Nick Rosen Trio @ Perch (monthlong residency)....March 9: Efterklang @ The Echo....March 10: Vinny Golia Sextet @ Art Share L.A....Daniel Szabo, Edwin Livingstone & Peter Erskine @ The Blue Whale....Anthony Wilson Trio @ Mt. Olive Lutheran Church.....Tony White Project @ Alva's Showroom....March 11: Jazz Unlimited w/ Kenny Burrell @ Catalina's....MONK'estra featuring John Beasley @ Typhoon....March 12: The Makers @ Seven Grand (monthlong residency)....Industrial Jazz Group & Quarteto Nuevo @ Grand Star Jazz....March 14: Julian Lage Trio @ The Blue Whale....Call and Response: A Dottie Grossman Tribute @ Muddy Waters Café (Santa Barbara)....March 15-17: Ambrose Akinmusire @ The Blue Whale....March 16: Music of the Masters Series: Tribute to Billy Higgins @ The World Stage...March 17: Rickey Woodard Quartet @ The Lighthouse....March 16: Chuck Manning Quartet @ Vibrato....March 17: Hazey Jane (w/ Greg Leisz) @ The Baked Potato....March 18: An Evening with Black Francis (solo acoustic) @ The Mint....March 19: Chelsea Light Moving (Thurston Moore's new group) @ The Echoplex....Brian Swartz Quartet @ Perch....March 20: Mos Def @ Belasco Theater....March 21: One Man Band (Lyn Foulkes doc) @ Hammer Museum....Songs in the Key of Nina w/ Maia & Randal Fisher @ Hollywood Bar & Grill....Michael Session Sextet @ LAX Crowne Plaza....March 26: OHM @ The Baked Potato....March 28-29: Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band @ Catalina's....March 29: Kim Richmond Jazz Orchestra @ REDCAT....Dwight Trible Birthday Bash @ The Blue Whale...Morris Tepper @ TAIX....March 30: Tribute to Charlie Haden w/ Bob Sheppard, Billy Childs, Darek Oles & Peter Erskine @ Vitello's....Van Dyke Parks w/ Inara George & Tom McDermott @ McCabe's